How to add apps to the sharing menu in MacOS


Person typing on laptop

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We all share things. Whether it’s a link, a photo, a chunk of text, or a meme…everyone does it. Most often, when you think of sharing, you think of a mobile device. Some desktop operating systems also include the sharing functionality, such as MacOS.

In MacOS, it’s possible to customize the sharing menu. By default, that menu has the following enabled out of the box:

  • Contact Suggestions
  • Add to Reading List
  • Copy Link
  • Note
  • Add to Photos
  • Open in News
  • Reminders

Depending on the apps you’ve installed, you might also see other options that are enabled upon installation. That isn’t the case with every app. Although an app might have the ability to use the MacOS share menu, there’s no guarantee it will be enabled when you install the app.

Also: The best Macs: Which is right for you?

Fortunately, MacOS makes it pretty easy to enable those third-party apps for the sharing menu. Once enabled, you’ll find that the app you downloaded is included when you go to share something.

But how do you add those apps to the sharing menu? It’s not nearly as difficult as you might imagine. Let me show you how it’s done.

How to add apps to the sharing menu

What you’ll need: The only things you’ll need for this task are a running instance of MacOS and one or more third-party apps installed. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that not every app you install is compatible with the sharing menu. So if you go to add a particular app, and you don’t find it listed, that means the app in question doesn’t include a sharing functionality.

With that said, let’s make this process work.

After you log into your MacOS device, click the Apple icon in the Menu Bar at the top of your screen. From that menu, click System Settings.

The Apple Menu on MacOS Ventura.

Accessing System Settings from within the Apple Menu.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Once System Settings is open, navigate to the following location: Settings > Privacy and Security > Extensions > Sharing.

From the Sharing options, click any/all entries you want to add to the menu. If an app or service has a blue/white check beside it, that means it’s enabled. 

Also: How to get true window snapping in MacOS

You can enable as many apps as you desire. When finished, click Done.

The MacOS Sharing section in System Settings.

If an app doesn’t have a check box, it means it’s enabled by default, and you cannot disable it.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Once you’ve taken care of this task, close System Settings. Now, when you go to share something, you’ll see the apps you’ve added are listed in the Share menu.

The MacOS sharing menu.

I’ve added Twitter and Mastonaut to the MacOS sharing menu.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

How simple was that? Other operating systems could learn from this process. Not every OS offers sharing and those that do aren’t nearly as easy to customize as Apple’s. 

Also: MacOS Network Locations is a handy feature you should be using

So, if you do a lot of sharing from your desktop or laptop, make sure to add all of the apps you need, so you can be certain the sharing of information or funny memes is as easy as possible.

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